Tonight The Royal Ballet presented a special triple bill with the world premiere of Wayne McGregor’s new ballet Obsidian Tear, a revival after 20 years of Kenneth MacMillan’s The Invitation and the return of Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour.
FIRST LOOK AT MCGREGOR’S OBSIDIAN TEAR
Obsidian Tear is the first piece created on an all-male cast for The Royal Ballet and features two casts, including Principal dancer Edward Watson. This is McGregor’s latest work after the phenomenal success of Woolf Works which won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.
McGregor has chosen to use two works for violin by the Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, who will also conduct three performances. The set is designed by McGregor himself, with Katie Shillingford as “Fashion director”, and lighting by Lucy Carter.
MACMILLAN’S THE INVITATION RETURNS AFTER 20 YEARS
Kenneth MacMillan’s stark emotional drama The Invitation returns to The Royal Ballet for the first time in 20 years. Created in 1960, it marked a shocking departure from the conventions of ballet. This one-act work is an exploration of emotional boundaries and sexual violence, portraying a young couple’s sexual initiation by an older married couple, ending with the onstage rape of the girl by the older man. The Invitation was one of the first fruits of MacMillan’s conviction that ballet needed grit and realism and is a powerful reminder of his genius for expressing, in dance, life’s most difficult issues.
WHEELDON’S WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR
Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour, which had its premiere with the company earlier this year, was created for San Francisco Ballet in 2008 set to a score by the Italian minimalist composer and pianist, Ezio Bosso. It presents a series of intricately crafted duets and ensembles of contrasting colours and tones, lyrical in tone, and described by the San Francisco Chronicle as ‘one of Wheeldon’s best works’.
Obsidian Tear – The Invitation – Within the Golden Hour
28 May – 11 June, Royal Opera House
Obsidian Tear is a co-production with Boston Ballet
Box Office: 0207 304 4000
Tickets £4 – £67
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.